While Facebook still refuses to entirely ban all types of political ads on its platform, Twitter is taking a different stand on the issue. The company's co-founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced in a series of tweets today that Twitter will halt all political ads worldwide starting next month.
The ban will apply to both candidates and interest groups trying to advance their cause through paid ads on Twitter. There will be a few exceptions, on the other hand, such as ads that push for voter registration, among others.
Dorsey says Twitter will release a final policy on November 15 to shed more light on its new approach to political advertising. The ban will be formally implemented beginning on November 22 to give more time to current advertisers to prepare for this change.
The move is spurred by the principle that a political message should earn a wider reach because people decide to subscribe to it, not because someone has paid large sums for advertising. Dorsey explains the rationale behind the ban:
A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) October 30, 2019
The exec acknowledged that Twitter may only be a small part of a much broader political advertising landscape. He also argued against the notion that this action could favor incumbents, saying "many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising".